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Best Linen Shops
Scratchy sheets? Boring place mats? You’ll rest easy at these fine-textile temples
Photograph courtesy Frette
Angelenos love their creature comforts, especially those that wait at home at day’s end. Bedsheets should be the epitome of soft and the cloths and napkins that grace the table anything but blah. Sure, you can compare thread counts with ease at the chains, but the staff at these linen boutiques can talk cotton versus flax and suggest which tabletop designs will elevate the dining room to art gallery. The goods may cost a little more, but think of the time you’ll spend with them.
For luxurious French linens, Yves Delorme is the standard-bearer. The L.A. flagship of the family-owned enterprise founded in 1845 has giant chandeliers, gold-framed mirrors, and a model bed strewn with samples that blend antique and contemporary touches. Bedding made of pure Egyptian cotton ranges from traditional white with colorful bourdon stitching (the Athena line) to embroidered scrollwork fit for a king (Regence). Jacquard cotton-linen tablecloths in rich shades like magenta and orange evoke alfresco dining—if not in the south of France, then in the backyard with wine and cheese. Tea towels are works of art, with delicate hemstitching or embroidery. » 9431 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, 310-270-4210.
The height of Italian elegance can be found at Frette, which has roots in the textile trade going back to 1860. Five bedroom mock-ups run the length of the expansive store. As at that other renowned Italian boutique, Pratesi on Melrose Place—where a queen set can cost $5,000—a global sophistication sets the tone. This season’s standouts include “Monceau,” which is art deco inspired, and “Kyoto,” which bursts with peonies. For the table, unadorned ivory and white napkins of 100 percent linen complement chocolate brown leather place mats. Tablecloths edged in lace or elaborate embroidery hark to an earlier era—the company’s linens were used on the Titanic. » 459 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-273-8540.
The sunny loftlike space that’s home to Amenity is filled with products that would make any environmentalist happy. Nicole Chiala and Kristina de Corpo, both graphic designers and young mothers, started the business in 2004 and specialize in organic fabrics colored with eco-friendly dyes. The pair imports the works of South American artisans, such as Chilean place mats and woven table runners made from the undyed wool of gray and brown sheep. Hemp-cotton place mats and table runners as well as cotton duvet covers with fern motifs are sewn locally. The nursery collection features pillows and cotton baby blankets bearing rabbits, ducks, squirrels, and deer that look as if they stepped out of a storybook. » 453 S. Spring St., Ste. 918, downtown, 213-624-7309.
Made to Order
Design industry veteran Marcie Bronkar opened her first fabric and wallpaper retail showroom, Marcie Bronkar, last spring. Bronkar buys linen from Belgium, creates the designs—geometric or floral prints—selects the colors, and makes house calls before turning the fabric into duvet covers, top sheets, headboard coverings, reversible tablecloths, and more. At the shop she’ll happily pull out samples in such custom hues as Vintage Rose and Tahitian Pearl and advise clients on the best uses for a particular fabric. The quiltlike texture of shelter cloth, for instance, is favored for tablecloths and bed skirts. Be sure to check out the accent pillows. » 128½ N. Larchmont Blvd., L.A., 323-957-5121.